Sabeena De Saram, Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, won the Unsung Hero Award at the 2018/19 Ophthalmology Honours presentation on 7th March 2019. The Ophthalmology Honours programme is facilitated by Bayer and supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB); it recognises the excellent work of multi-disciplinary ophthalmology teams and individuals throughout the UK.
With the help of her guide dog Neima, Sabeena has made an exceptional contribution to both patients and staff at Kingston Hospital’s Royal Eye Unit (REU) by increasing the awareness of the impact of sight loss.
The Unsung Hero award at the Ophthalmology Honours recognises non-clinical professionals who demonstrate excellence in all aspects of their role while making an outstanding contribution to patient experience. Sabeena was acknowledged for being an inspiration for patients facing visual impairment and consistently giving comprehensive, authentic advice with compassion, energy and enthusiasm.
Miss Vasuki Sivagnanavel, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sabeena has become an example to everyone through the achievements she has made while living with sight loss. She has worked extremely hard to increase staff awareness around the challenges patients face and has taught the team practical skills, inspiring a greater level of compassion among staff.
“Sabeena is greatly respected and admired by both patients and is incredibly deserving of this award. She is a great example of how adversity can be turned into a positive attribute, and gives people hope.”
Dr Jackie Napier, Medical Director, Ophthalmology & Neurology, Bayer said: “We are very proud of the Ophthalmology Honours programme, and in particular of all the entrants who have demonstrated outstanding work, resulting in advancements in ophthalmology and ultimately improved patient care. The programme supports and acknowledges the importance of multi-disciplinary and innovative working in the NHS, both of which Bayer wholeheartedly support as part of our commitment to transforming lives.”